Use of laser capture microdissection and cDNA microarrays for analysis of gene expression in lacrimal gland secretory cells of MRL/lpr mice

Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease affecting the salivary and lacrimal glands, causes gland degeneration through inflammatory lesions made of lymphocytes. This causes symptoms of dry eyes and mouth. MRL/lpr mice have been used as models of the lymphocytic infiltration characteristic of Sjogren's syndrome, and several immunohistochemical and genetic analyses have been performed on MRL/lpr lacrimal glands.

Cloning of beta-actin in early diverging vertebrate little skate (Leucoraja erinacea) for use as a reference gene in real-time PCR

β-Actin (ACTB) is a ubiquitously expressed cytoskeletal protein. Involved in cell movement and structure, it is usually expressed at constant levels within the cell. We have successfully cloned and sequenced ACTB cDNA from little skate (Leucoraja erinacea) from the 5' untranslated region through the poly-adenylated tail. The deduced protein was 374 amino acids in length, with a 99.7% identity to the human ortholog of ACTB. ACTB is highly conserved among vertebrates and is used as a protein loading control in Western blots and other experiments in which heterogeneous samples are used. In recent years, ACTB has been used as a reference gene in quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) studies where it is used as a control for amplification variations between samples.

Black Holes in the Centers of Even Early Galaxies

A big question in astronomy is whether galaxies in the very early universe looked the same as galaxies today. Astronomers have observed and postulated that most – maybe even all – nearby galaxies have a massive black hole in the center. But would that hold true for galaxies in the early universe? Now, with the keen vision of the Submillimeter Array in Hawaii, Rob Ivison of the UK Astronomy Technology Centre has discovered two very distant galaxies with black holes at their centers.

Visit with the Senior Research Editor

Have you ever spent days writing a scientific manuscript only to realize upon review that it sounds as though an eight year old wrote it? Has there ever been a time in your life when you realized that your written description of an experiment was so complex and convoluted that you did not even know what you intended to say? Have you ever spent an entire night writing all of a paragraph for your 15 page report? We have all experienced these moments in our scientific career, but is there a quick fix to perfect writing? Unfortunately there is not (were you actually expecting that I had a quick fix?), but there are many strategies that you can employ to increase the readability of your writing.

Rural Hospitals Benefit from Hospital-to-Hospital Partnerships in IT Outsourcing

The business practice of information technology (IT) outsourcing can help small rural hospitals with limited budgets benefit from modern technological infrastructure. Researchers at Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) have found that small rural hospitals save costs while modernizing their IT infrastructure by partnering with nearby larger hospitals.

A Good Bite of Antioxidants: Purple Tomatoes

As part of the FLORA (Flavonoids and Pehnolics for healthy living using orally recommended antioxidants) project, a European effort to expand our knowledge on natural antioxidants, researchers from participating centers have engineered tomatoes containing high amounts of the antioxidant anthocyanin. Cancer-prone mice fed with purple tomatoes had a significant increase in their lifespan. Humans might also benefit from the protective effects if we include them in our diet.

World Conference on Marine Biodiversity Highlights Progress towards Completing First Census of Marine Life

More than 700 delegates of the Census of Marine Life community convened in Valencia, Spain from November 11-15, 2008 at the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity. The purpose of the meeting was to report on developments made on the compilation of the first ever marine life census, due to be completed by October 2010. The conference represented the fourth meeting of the community to highlight progress on the census since it began in 2000.

A Letter from our Chief Executive Officer

Whether you are an experienced reader or visiting JYI for the first time, we would like to let you know about where JYI has come from and where we plan on going. The first issue of JYI was published in December 1998 – now almost a full decade ago! Since then, JYI has published 19 Volumes with approximately 5-10 issues in each volume. This prolific rate not only reflects the immense effort of all the JYI Staff Members, who number well into the hundreds now, but it also indicates the countless hours of research realized by undergraduate scientists from all over the world.